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Chris Crocker, "internationally-recognized icon."
March 25, 2008 6:49 PM   Subscribe

"It’s been six months since a sobbing plea on YouTube rocketed the then-19-year-old from Internet cult status to internationally-recognized icon. Yes kids, I said “icon.”" Previous pre-"leave britney alone" mefi post.

His YouTube site

More videos (some not on his YouTube)

His newest video.
posted by flyinghamster (70 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I know there was already post about him (almost a year ago), but I think the fact that he is gathering so much attention warrants another post (the three main links are all from the last few days)
posted by flyinghamster at 6:53 PM on March 25, 2008


For the love of all that is holy.... why?
posted by MythMaker at 6:55 PM on March 25, 2008


*sigh*
posted by nola at 7:01 PM on March 25, 2008


I think the fact he is allegedly gathering so much attention is precisely a good reason not to make this post.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:03 PM on March 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


flyinghamster writes "I think the fact that he is gathering so much attention warrants another post"

Why, has he endorsed Obama?
posted by orthogonality at 7:04 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


For proof, look no further than the “Leave Britney Alone!” cameo appearance in the recent pop culture movie spoof, “Meet the Spartans.”

That appearance was proof of something, I'll grant you... but not quite what the article says it was.
Closer, perhaps - proof of the absolute shittiness of the move that contained said cameo appearance.
posted by Tbola at 7:09 PM on March 25, 2008


Posts like this make the baby Jesus cry.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:11 PM on March 25, 2008


Ah, so it was a guy? Thanks for clearing that up for me.
posted by pompomtom at 7:13 PM on March 25, 2008


on non-preview: Ha ha! Suck it baby Jesus!!
posted by pompomtom at 7:14 PM on March 25, 2008


Suck it baby Jesus!!

Holy crap! I have a tattoo that says that!
posted by eyeballkid at 7:15 PM on March 25, 2008


prove it.
posted by nola at 7:17 PM on March 25, 2008


I know there was already post about him (almost a year ago), but I think the fact that he is gathering so much attention warrants another post (the three main links are all from the last few days)
posted by flyinghamster at 9:53 PM on March 25


The fact that he is garnering so much attention should send people to revolt. He has done nothing that merits attention, other than to be a personality.

See, it's the popularity of stuff like this that proves that the media isn't feeding us mindless drivel, it proves that we want mindless drivel, and they just give us what we want. Why do I know who this person is? Has he done anything clever, or creative (not including clever or creative ways to get himself attention)? Is he making a contribution of any kind to the world, positive or negative?
posted by Pastabagel at 7:25 PM on March 25, 2008


i guess im the only real chris crocker fan
posted by flyinghamster at 7:30 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, there's Chris Crocker...
posted by pompomtom at 7:35 PM on March 25, 2008


Oh please.....please. In the name of all that is good and right in the world, let this moron fade back into obscurity. Don't we have enough useless people making headlines already?
posted by nevercalm at 7:37 PM on March 25, 2008


Holy crap that is uncalled for.
posted by nola at 7:41 PM on March 25, 2008


the three main links are all from the last few days

I evacuated my bowels in the last three days, too. I don't think that qualifies the results as link-worthy.

Rule of thumb ... if you feel the need to defend your post before anyone replies, chances are, you probably ought to rethink your post.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:42 PM on March 25, 2008


and so is my comment it would appear. The mods are quick round here.
posted by nola at 7:42 PM on March 25, 2008


This post is fucking terrible.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:44 PM on March 25, 2008


Meh, he's like Bart the "I Didn't Do It Kid"

Why do I know who this person is? Has he done anything clever, or creative (not including clever or creative ways to get himself attention)? Is he making a contribution of any kind to the world, positive or negative?

Yeah none, so? The vast majority of us don't make a any contribution to the world- apart from solid waste and greenhouse emissions.

He may not be to everyone's taste, but he makes people laugh- so that's a positive contribution.

Anyway he'll be gone soon, to be replaced by another and another and another and another...
posted by mattoxic at 7:45 PM on March 25, 2008


"Don't we have enough useless people making headlines already?"

Yes.

They are called politicians.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:46 PM on March 25, 2008


By the way... y'know usually when a post is this bad, usually I find myself making a snarky comment about how bad the post is, that I think is funny, only to learn when I hit the 'post comment' button that somebody with the power to do it has already deleted the thread, thereby robbing me of my obvious fifteen minutes of fame for being such a witty and articulate scumbag.

If you see these words, you are no more surprised than me.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:49 PM on March 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


"This post is fucking terrible."

I've had worse.

You lie!

C'mon you pansy!
posted by ZachsMind at 7:51 PM on March 25, 2008


Train wreck.
posted by owhydididoit at 7:55 PM on March 25, 2008


This is your first post. If only you'd asked for a buddy.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:55 PM on March 25, 2008


Forgive the language, but from what I've seen of Chris Crocker he's a self-centered attention whore famous for a hysterical outburst over the criticism of a celebrity and he's desperate to get those 15 seconds of fame back. In my opinion, he doesn't deserve it.
posted by flatluigi at 7:55 PM on March 25, 2008


leave flyinghamster alone! *sobs*
posted by madamjujujive at 8:00 PM on March 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Fame was one once like Bear Stearns stock.
Out of reach for most people.
Now any idiot with two bucks can buy it.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 8:02 PM on March 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd rather see a post about Tay Zonday's toe jam than this.
posted by cashman at 8:08 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


That whole "content is king" thing that they used to push when coming up with stuff to put on the Internet, when they would insist that the key to finding an audience is thoughtful, well-crafted articles and videos?

Lies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:15 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Suck it baby Jesus!!

Holy crap! I have a tattoo that says that!

...

prove it."


As I understand it, it usually just says suus. It takes some "assistance" to see the whole thing.

That's the rumor on the streets of Jamaica, anyway.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:19 PM on March 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


I am legitimately a fan of Chris Crocker. The Britney video is what brought him to my attention in the first place, but I neither care for it nor care much about it. You're free to not care for him, or dislike him, or whatever.

Here's the thing though: none of the criticisms commonly lobbed at him seem to stick, in my view. So he's famous because he's a personality. Well, okay, sure. So is every other comedian or internet celebrity.

So he got famous for something reasonably stupid, and worse than that, something uncool. What strikes me about the Britney video, and the reaction to it is that it is a deeply and passionately uncool video in a medium where entire careers are built and traded upon coolness. His other stuff doesn't share the same standout nature, and so it gets largely ignored. Which is fine really, in a lot of ways he'd be better off if less people paid attention to him at all, but the way things stand he has become defined by the Britney video. That's crappy.

The problem is, as I see it, that his other stuff doesn't scale in the same way that the Britney video did. Most of his output consists of subtle riffs on gay/southern/urban culture filtered through a fairly personal and hypermediated lens, which is stuff that by nature isn't going to appeal to a truly mass audience. There's simply not the salience there. The Britney video landed him before a mass audience, and that's where his issues come from. It would have been better for him to have kept building his audience gradually, connecting to people for whom he has salience.

Oh, and pompomtom: There's a basic rule that if you can't tell what gender someone is, and you're not close enough to that person to know from interacting with them, you don't actually need to know. Whatever you think of the guy, the whole "lulz androgyny" thing that's built up around him is stupid and largely offensive.

I realize that this thread is probably doomed, and if it wasn't from the start the amount of shit that's been thrust into it made it so, but whatever. I like the guy, and I'll defend him.
posted by Arturus at 8:30 PM on March 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I thought the whole Chris Crocker thing would be wrapped when he got out of Grandma's house and got some fucking action, y'know, got busy. Too busy for any more YouTube. Like, with Tina and junk.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:32 PM on March 25, 2008


This kid is famous like the Star Wars Kid or the Numa Numa kid, the only difference is, those two other kids shunned the fame that was forced upon them. Chris actually craves it. His Britney lament video was an act, a con, a mass-manipulation. And I gather that he doesn't really discriminate between mass love or mass hate. He just wants the attention.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:42 PM on March 25, 2008


Wow, and now I'm watching his more recent videos and he's ON. I wish there could be lasting crossover for even this kind of person in our media culture, but I have little hope for that.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:44 PM on March 25, 2008


Lame (lame), burn your cam, you’re so over
Shame (shame), learn some pride, hard to swallow
Game (game), lose today, lost tomorrow
Blame (plenty to go around)

Lame, it's not the same as real fame
To force your folks to move and change their
Name (name)

Frame (frame), what you like is in the mirror
Flame (right out), hystereophonics getting dimmer
Claim (to fame), infamy is what’s for dinner
Defame (defame)

Lame, "Nien! It's time!" To save the hive mind
You crossed the line and now your light is dying
Ready, take aim (aim)

Could it be the end, could it be?
Really be, Epic Fail?
Could it be, you Fail, Epic fail?
Really, really?

Is it any wonder we reject you, Chris?
Lame, lame, lame, lame
Is it any wonder you play the fool too well
Lame

Lame, bullying you, easy for me
Got to get a favorite for your pain
Pain

Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame
Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame, lame
Lame, lame, lame

Lame
What's your name?

(whispered)
Leave Chris Crocker alone!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:51 PM on March 25, 2008


bitch, pleeeeze.
posted by Jikido at 9:01 PM on March 25, 2008


Shaun: Oh, leave him alone.

Pete: All right, I admit, he can pretty funny on occasion. Like that time we stayed up all night drinking apple Schnappes and playing Tekken 2.

Shaun: Oh yeah. When was that?

Pete: That was five years ago. When's he going home?
posted by bwg at 9:05 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


LEAVE CHRIS ALONE!!!!!1
posted by not_on_display at 9:47 PM on March 25, 2008


oops.. I mean, what IRFH said. After his lame fame flame. **looking around** Can I smoke in this thread? Think anyone'll mind?
posted by not_on_display at 9:49 PM on March 25, 2008


We need to "rid the world of all these fevered egos that are tainting our collective unconscious and making us pay a higher psychic price than we imagine." (i love you bill)

Seriously.
posted by M Edward at 9:55 PM on March 25, 2008


"Wow, and now I'm watching his more recent videos and he's ON."

On what?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:55 PM on March 25, 2008


This guy is the perez hilton of youtube. DIAF
posted by puke & cry at 9:57 PM on March 25, 2008


I am legitimately a fan of Chris Crocker.

Me too. I think the guy's great. I'm sure it helps if you understand what it's like being gay in a small town, which makes it easier to cheer him on as he claws his way out. He's handling it pretty damn well - making money, getting laid, setting himself up so he doesn't have to be a victim...Hell, he's more interesting than almost any other YouTube celebrity I can think of, which may not be saying a whole lot, I know, but still.

The problem is, as I see it, that his other stuff doesn't scale in the same way that the Britney video did. Most of his output consists of subtle riffs on gay/southern/urban culture filtered through a fairly personal and hypermediated lens, which is stuff that by nature isn't going to appeal to a truly mass audience.

Yep. I still flip off whatever media outlet I see that describes him as "the LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE guy." Check this quote from the Advocate interview:

I have to say, I hate the fact, first of all, that that’s the video that was launched into the media, because I did videos before that were about really important topics. A lot of people want to say my priorities are in the wrong order, but, you know, I did videos about AIDS, and I was trying to spread awareness long before that. So the fact that that’s the only video the media picked up on tells me their priorities, not mine.

Smart guy. Hope he keeps it together.
posted by mediareport at 9:58 PM on March 25, 2008


This, like so many other things before it, only heightens my desire to personify the internet into a physical form, so that I may stab it repeatedly.
posted by Saydur at 9:58 PM on March 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Like, with Tina and junk.

Yeah, that's the part I hope he keeps himself together over.
posted by mediareport at 9:59 PM on March 25, 2008


Leave Obama alone! *cries*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:59 PM on March 25, 2008


Leave MetaFilter alone! *cries*
posted by five fresh fish at 10:19 PM on March 25, 2008


Leave Chris Crocker alone! Don't you know he brought peace to Northern Ireland and dodged sniper fire in Tuzla?

And he's short on sleep, because he's up every night, waiitng to answer that 3am phonecall!
posted by orthogonality at 10:26 PM on March 25, 2008


I'll say just one thing:

I think it was funny how they made Butters be Chris Crocker on the latest Southpark episode.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 10:51 PM on March 25, 2008


"... I’m just going to be defending myself from now on. ..."

Boy meets mission.
posted by paulsc at 10:55 PM on March 25, 2008


"Unlike Andy Warhol, the 20-year-old Chris belongs to a media-saavy generation that instinctively knows how to work a camera."

So Andy Warhol made a twenty four hour long movie, so effin what? Motherfucker pretty much invented "media-savvy."
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:15 AM on March 26, 2008


Hell, he's more interesting than almost any other YouTube celebrity I can think of

Damn, suddenly I am truly aware that I belong to a different generation.

This guy, and so many others, just struck me as taking part in a worldwide fucking highschool popularity contest and little more. I didn't realize they were celebrities.

Get off my lawn.

*sigh*
posted by sharpener at 12:48 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


If he'd been from LA or NYC in the first place - instead of "Pentecostal Tennessee" - we wouldn't know who he is.

The buzz around this kid is simply due to his circumstances.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:46 AM on March 26, 2008


As I understand it, it usually just says suus. It takes some "assistance" to see the whole thing.

That's the rumor on the streets of Jamaica, anyway.


Wow, the font must be really small then crash.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:36 AM on March 26, 2008


One bent paperclip.
posted by flabdablet at 5:06 AM on March 26, 2008


Does the world really need another famous effeminate crybaby?
posted by Dave Faris at 5:31 AM on March 26, 2008


Motherfucker pretty much invented "media-savvy."

The idea they were trying to convey is that in the present, everyone is approximately as media-savvy as Warhol (and not for just 15 minutes).
posted by blasdelf at 5:41 AM on March 26, 2008


Meh
posted by WalterMitty at 5:55 AM on March 26, 2008


I like his "best video ever". He's really looking good on this one.
posted by nicolin at 5:58 AM on March 26, 2008


Damn, suddenly I am truly aware that I belong to a different generation.

Oh, please. The concept of YouTube celebrity really isn't hard to understand.
posted by mediareport at 6:02 AM on March 26, 2008


I love you guys :D

And those of you who still believe that Chris Crocker's videos are mindless drivel should really take the time to actually watch them. Sure it isn't classic literature or anything, but I would be lying to say that he hasn't been an inspiration to me. It seems like there is just too much I want to say about him and his importance, but I must aim for some brevity since what I am responding to is so often simply arbitrary dismissal.

I used to dismiss Britney Spears. Sure, I had heard ...Baby one more time back when it was first released, and I actually thought it was kind of catchy. But any evolving musical taste quickly learns to exclude Top 40 hits in favor of more esoteric and nuanced audio, and with my newfound interests in jazz, modern classical, and avant-garde structures it was impossible to fit any kind of "pop music" into the pantheon. But it went further than that. Even though I was free to listen to any music I wanted and I chose to exclude most popular music, I became more and more critical of these "mainstream" songs - music and musicians that I never gave a chance. I never thought to question why I had this hatred for popular culture. Chris Crocker is, somewhat ironically, in a similar position right now in our society. Despite his large following, his impact is constantly marginalized by people that believe he is too popular and antagonize him out of envy or fear. Britney Spears, like Chris Crocker, has an interesting history. Neither of them are products of some sort of media machine. They are real people, with real stories and real lives, and they both worked hard for what they achieved, despite in completely different ways. I feel this is where I should say "Leave Chris Crocker alone!", and laugh obligatorily.

I know this has been rather counter-intuitive for a lot of you, but maybe this video will help. Chris was in a 5-year long-distance relationship with a boy that he never even met in person yet is still so hopelessly in love that it almost makes me cry just thinking about it. A lot of Chris's videos have been taken down or are difficult to find but some of those are the most rewarding to watch, both for their substance and for the manner in which they contextualize the massive influx of opinion which invariably surrounds them.
posted by flyinghamster at 6:41 AM on March 26, 2008


Crocker's at least as funny as men with puppets.

in the present, everyone is approximately as media-savvy as Warhol

I don't think that's true, either. But Warholian media-savvy is life to a lot of people now and they don't need to move to NYC to exhibit it. That's what I find interesting.

I've been absorbed lately by Nelson Sullivan's videos which are appearing on YouTube. Back in the day, someone like Crocker would've had to flee to NY to begin working his schitck. Now he can do it from his hometown.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:47 AM on March 26, 2008


Neither of them are products of some sort of media machine. They are real people, with real stories and real lives

In spite of all appearances to the contrary, both Spears and Crocker are real people, true. But, in fact, everything interesting about either is a result of their use of the "media machine" and it's use of them.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:05 AM on March 26, 2008


I'm interested in Chris Crocker because he is from my home town. And I appreciate how difficult it can be to grow up there, especially as a gay kid. I wasn't gay, but one of my best friends is and at 36, he still hasn't come out to his family. So I give him kudos for leveraging his personality in a public venue to create... something- celebrity, infamy, or whatever you want to call it. I just hope he can keep enough of this capital to establish a sturdy platform for his adult life.
posted by kimdog at 7:35 AM on March 26, 2008


Britney Spears, like Chris Crocker, has an interesting history. Neither of them are products of some sort of media machine.

Are you kidding? Crocker isn't yet a product of the media machine, I guess, but he's working on it. And Britney? Come on.

Having an interesting history and being a real person does not mean that one is not also a media creation.
posted by rtha at 9:53 AM on March 26, 2008


TONIGHT ON THUNDERDOME

CHRIS CROCKER VS GARY BROLSMA

TWO MEMES ENTER ONE MEME LEAVES
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:05 AM on March 26, 2008


flyinghamster -

I tried watching the video you linked to, but I couldn't make it through. I thought, okay, I'll have an open mind - but it's just some kid crying into the camera.

Maybe I'm just not into the genre of some kid crying into the camera. I'd rather watch videos that have plot and production value and entertainment than just some kid at home crying into the camera. Whether it's crying about Britney or emo concern of the week, it's not something that appeals to me in any way. Maybe it can be appreciated as camp and an object of ridicule as far as the Britney video goes, but this one is more like some kind of narcissistic video diary entry.

And like most teary diary entries, better kept to one's self.

But, as someone pointed out above, perhaps the whole thing is generational. I have little interest in watching anyone's personal video diaries.
posted by MythMaker at 12:13 PM on March 26, 2008


Neither of them are products of some sort of media machine.

Well, yes and no. Britney is a product of the music and entertainment industry, but I don't think she bargained for the paparazzi tracking her, 24/7, completely invading her privacy. She's tried to turn the situation to her advantage, and used it to keep her name in the papers, since it's been (arguably) years since she's put out a good album or done anything careerwise that amounts to much. And I'd say it's had it's effects. Britney is a basket case at this point. But you can't say she went looking for that sort of attention

I can't help but feel that the "Leave Britney Alone" kid would settle for just that.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:18 PM on March 26, 2008


Oh, please. The concept of YouTube celebrity really isn't hard to understand.

Yeah, that's true. I guess the thing is, I didn't say that I didn't understand it. I said that the fact that they were celebrities didn't fit with my own perception of what makes a celebrity. Which, in turn, caused me to realize that maybe, despite having been in the web industry for 13 years, I am still beholden to my cohort (i.e., not Chris Crocker's) on some levels.

So sue me.

Not like anyone's reading at this point anyway.
posted by sharpener at 10:54 PM on March 28, 2008


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